Son of Hamas: Education Combined With Islamist Ideology Makes for More Deadly Palestinian Terrorism
Islamist ideology together with advanced education makes for a deadly combination for Gazan Palestinians, the son of one of Hamas’ founders, and a former spy for Israel, asserted at a recent event in New York.
“If you give Palestinians opportunity and higher education and they’re still under the influence of a deadly ideology, they will use this education for deadly terrorist attacks,” Mosab Hassan Yousef said at a private screening of his new film The Green Prince, which is based on his life story as an informant for Israel. “I guarantee you this because actually the most dangerous terrorists, those are the ones with higher education. Those are the ones who went to engineering schools. You’ll find [a] connection between engineering schools and bomb-making.”
“We need first to shift the paradigm that is created by the culture, the environment, the ideology. Once we are able to expose the lies of the ideology and help them shift their paradigms, education is not the only way,” he added.
Yousef was born in Ramallah and is the eldest son of Hamas founder and the movement’s leader in the West Bank, Sheikh Hassan Yousef. The Sheikh was a leader of the Second Intifada and has been arrested multiple times by Israel.
At the age of 17 Mosab was arrested for smuggling guns and was incarcerated. Shocked by Hamas’ tactics in prison, as well as the organization’s escalating campaign of suicide bombings, Mosab agreed to spy for Israel. After a short imprisonment he worked for the Israeli domestic intelligence service, where he was identified by the code name ‘Green Prince,’ for a decade. After helping thwart dozens of terror attacks and apprehend many members of his former movement, Mosab moved to the United States where he sought political asylum and converted to Christianity. His family disowned him after they found out he was spying for Israel.
The former terror operative chronicled his story in the successful autobiography Son of Hamas, which was recently adapted into the film The Green Prince. The recent screening was held in New York and sponsored by OneFamily, an Israeli organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of victims of terror attacks and their families.
Mosab believes Palestinians in Gaza need much more than education in order to recognize the lies he thinks Islam promotes.
“I’m not against education, but… I believe that people need to be more intelligent, not educated. Intelligence, you are able to discern: truth from falsehood. Education you can get even more confused,” he explained. “There is an Eastern philosopher who says the moment we start educating our children, the moment that they start losing their intelligence. I don’t agree with him 100 percent but what I’m saying is people need to be more intelligent.”
Mosab said Muslims who live under the reign of Islam live “in a state of delusion,” adding that they are blinded by “these layers of ignorance that are created by the Islamic religion and belief.”
“Many people think that some extremists hijack the Islamic faith and I believe the truth is the opposite of that: that Islam is hijacking Muslim society,” he said.
While Mosab believes that peace between Hamas and Israel is not likely, he thinks there is a possibility of a truce between Israel and “moderate Palestinians.” He also revealed that some Palestinians have anonymously reached out to him to applaud his efforts to help Israel, saying, “what you did was amazing.”
“I am surprised when I see emails from Gaza, from Ramallah. But I don’t stay in touch with them and I don’t think they are willing to stay in touch,” he explained. “It’s very dangerous for them. But I’m sure the story has an impact on people to make a change and a difference in their lives… I hope that at some point Muslims see the truth and are able to emancipate themselves from the bondage of religion.”